An aussie puppy is an adorable fluffy baby. 

But don’t rush !

Please take a few minutes to read and answer this :

1 – Can you keep your aussie busy enough ? Being bred to work hard all day means that most Aussies are not content to be couch potatoes, although Aussies have individual characters and some are more sedate and quiet-natured than others.  For the most part, however, these are high energy dogs who need a purpose in their lives-a job as it were.  Owners must be committed to give these dogs the time and attention they require through play and training, for as with any dog, undirected energy can turn towards destructive behaviors such as digging and chewing.   Running, jumping, and rough-housing are all a part of being a normal Aussie.

2 – Can you handle a dog described with strong  guardian instinct and reserved with strangers ? Although many Aussies are friendly with everyone, the Australian Shepherd as a breed tends to be somewhat reserved and cautious around strangers. Aussies are often quite protective of their family and property, a desirable trait in some situations but not acceptable in others, and some dogs never accept strangers. 

3 – Having a dog that wants to be with you all the time ? If you just want a dog to decorate your back yard don’t get an Aussie. They want to be with you and are highly affectionate and social. Aussies want to be where the action is, with you every step of the way. They are called “velcro dogs” for good reason. If you are never around and are out of the house most of the time, an Aussie is not for you.

4 – Can you get a dog with that need of exercise ? The great intelligence of these dogs, necessary to out-think and control livestock, can be detrimental when left untrained and unused.  Aussies are quite capable of out-thinking their owners.  Obedience training is highly recommended as a means of teaching owners how to channel the typical Aussie’s innate desire to please into appropriate behaviors.  Aussies learn very quickly, so be certain you are willing to keep your Aussie occupied with walks, play, and training to benefit both mind and body.

5 – Are you sure that your aussie is correctly socialized ? A good socialization is important to prevent behavioral problems.

6 – Having a dog that can herd everything ? The Australian Shepherd was developed to be a moderate sized, intelligent, all-purpose stock dog of great character and endurance.  Many Aussies today still do the work they were bred for, and even those that have never seen sheep or cattle usually have a strong herding instinct.  This means that Aussies need fenced yards and leashes, as the temptation to herd dogs, children, and traffic can simply overwhelm them.

7 – Train your puppy once at home ? Lessons with a dog trained may help you to have a  dog with good manners.

8 – Can you train your aussie not to herd children ? Aussies and children can become good friends. Aussies can be over stimulated by children. They are not toys. Although affectionate and loving companions, the Aussie is not the dog to get for the kids.

9 – Do youy like your house to be “just so” ? Dogs can do a number on your house. If you get an aussie the days of your house being futured in “Clean Freak Magazine” are over.There is some grooming required to keep the coat clean and conditioned, such as regular brushing and nail trimming.

10 –  Have you considered the real costs ?  Regular vet visits for check-ups and shots are enough, but what happens if there is a serious injury or illness ? Aussies are generally healthy dogs and can be expected to live up to 12 years or more, so ownership can be a lengthy commitment.

If you answered “no” to some of these questions, choose another breed. Don’t get an Aussie because you heard they’re smart, or you like their looks, or because your brother-in-law’s friend knows a guy who said they’re great. All true, but you have to consider the total package. It’s not good enough to get an Aussie because you want a dog. You have to want an Aussie – and all that that entails ! 

If you read this and you still honestly believe that an Aussie is the dog for you, and that you could provide for the particular needs of an Aussie, congratulations and welcome to the Australian Shepherd Lovers Club ! Sure Aussies can be a challenge, but they are well worth it.